Don’t be fooled. Public Lands Transfer means that public lands will be sold off and closed to access. Closed off to YOU and your children…forever.
Our…your…public lands would absolutely not be better off in state hands. That’s the unabashed and clear message of a growing number of sportsmen’s and outdoors organizations and individuals. The notion of “public lands transfer” is a horrible idea, one that will cost all of us dearly.
It may, in fact, be the single most important issue of our time for outdoorsmen, hunters, anglers, hikers, campers, for anyone who enjoys the great outdoors.
It is also the message of Trout Unlimited, “the nation’s oldest and largest coldwater fisheries conservation organization”. Trout Unlimited’s mission is to conserve and protect North America’s trout and salmon, and their watersheds. Public Lands Transfer would dramatically and adversely affect that mission.
A Trout Unlimited press release recently stated that the conservation organization is releasing “a new digital report that focuses on America’s public lands and the people who use them, as well as the effort to transfer and sell these lands to the highest bidder.”
It’s a big deal. Arguably the largest push for awareness and the strongest message that TU has ever engaged in.
TU President and CEO Chris Wood writes, “Whether you call it sale, transfer, or divestiture, allowing public lands to fall from public ownership would represent the triumph of cynicism over democracy. We — you and me, all of us who own these lands by virtue of our citizenship — can make sure that never happens.”
To that end, Trout Unlimited is asking every citizen to sign this petition, to raise his or her voice for America’s Public Lands.
“If our public lands are transferred to states,” Wood says, “they would no longer belong to ‘We the People’, and citizens across the country would lose the right to have a say in how our lands are managed.”
TU is releasing a series of original blog posts and videos on their website, called 30 Days of Public Lands, in which they will be focusing on the “people who use public lands and the effort to keep these lands in common ownership today, and for generations to come”.
Birthright: A Public Lands Story is one such video (above). Other videos highlight the issue and specific people – people like you and me – who use public lands. People like WWII hero and conservation legend Frank Moore, photographer, angler and writer Jillian Lukiwski, and Fishpond founder John Land Le Coq (below).
Hunter conservationist Randy Newberg has also been beating the drum against public lands transfer, as have many other notable hunters, anglers, and outdoors enthusiasts.
We here at Wide Open Spaces are most certainly on the side opposed to public lands transfer. We ask you to join the growing number of outdoorsmen and women who see this as a watermark issue, an issue that will affect the future – the very near future – of how each and every one of us uses – or doesn’t get to use – this country’s great legacy of public lands.
At the very least, sign the petition and let your voice be heard. Support freedom by supporting our public lands.
As Gary Berlin, retired Colorado Parks and Wildlife officer says,
We need to become active. We need to contact our state legislators. We need to contact federal legislators and let them know exactly how valuable public lands are to the public, what it means to us, what it meant to us growing up. And more than just talking, we need to put our money where our mouth is and fund agencies and organizations who support public lands.
It’s that important. “That’s the beauty of public lands,” says LeCoq. “They’re available to everybody. Every class, every color, every economic perspective. It’s yours to come and play. The doors are open.” Help ensure that the doors remain open.
Like what you see here? You can read more great articles by David Smith at his facebook page, Stumpjack Outdoors.